Florist Sued for Refusing Sale for Gay Wedding

| | Comments (0)

Arlene's Flowers in Richland, WA, is being sued by WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson for refusing to provide services for a gay wedding.

Ferguson claims, "Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation. If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same sex couples the same product or service."

Where does the law say this? I've never heard it before. I've heard that it is illegal to make hiring decisions based on sexual orientation, as well as housing decisions. But all products and services? I can't find it anywhere in the law.

Further, she is clearly not discriminating against the customer for their sexual orientation, per se, but discriminating against the event, which isn't the same thing. If they wanted to purchase her flowers they could (in fact, they did!), but providing them for an event is different, and again, I see nothing in the law backing Ferguson's claims.

And if it is in the law (which I doubt), it violates the First Amendment's protection of the right to association (which is implied by the rights to assemble and petition, which implies a right to not associate). It's one thing to force a business to sell a product, but when the florist is associated explicitly with an event, that association says something about her, to the public at large, and if she doesn't want to be associated with that event, it's absolutely her right to not be.

Ferguson's off to a terrible start as Attorney General: forcing a private business owner to associate herself with something she disagrees with can never be considered a good or reasonable thing, especially in a free country.

Leave a comment

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by pudge published on April 12, 2013 5:51 AM.

Pure Food Parity Act was the previous entry in this site.

On Kermit "It's Not Easy Being a Serial Killer" Gosnell is the next entry in this site.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.